Water Change schedule after TSS+

Mombo

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So I started a fishless cycle about a week ago. Ammonia started dropping and I randomly decided to drop in TSS+

Now my Ammonia is dropping quickly every day. I currently am dosing ammonia every day now.

Nitrites are staying at 0 and my Nitrates are jumping up more and more.

I assume that I will soon be ready for fish.

Can I do a full water change and not affect the TSS+? Will the bacteria that was introduced be stuck in my filter media or is it something in the water now that is helping me cycle?

I would want to do a full water change and re dose prime before adding fish to get rid of all the nitrates I imagine. So I am just wondering how long I need to wait until I can change the water after I use TSS+
 

tyguy7760

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If your ammonia is dropping, nitrites stay at 0 and nitrates are increasing then you are ready for fish. How high are your nitrates?

I would NOT do a full water change. That will cause you to lose a lot of bacteria. Several small water changes are the best way to go until you get your nitrates around 10 or so.

But again, how high are your nitrates now. Also, how long has it been since you dosed the TSS+?
 

fishnewbie33

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When cycling with fish and TSS, you don't do any water changes for 2 weeks.

I used the above method with pure ammonia cycling (Dr. Tim's ammonia drops) and my tank was cycled in 2 weeks.
 
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Mombo

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So I had my tank running 1 week before I added TSS+. So the BB had started to build up a little already just doing the Fishless cycle with ammonia.

I added TSS+ about 3 days ago now and it super charged everything. Now my daily ammonia is dropping every day.

I tested all my water today and it went from 2ppm ammonia to .25 ammonia after dosing it yesterday. So I dosed it back to 2ppm this morning.

My Nitrites are at 0 every day for the last 2 days.

My Nitrates are over 20 ppm. It is hard to tell how red it is so it might be 40 ppm. Or 30ppm. Somewhere around there.

edit: I am using pure ammonia as well no fish yet. But with TSS instead of Tim's. Pretty similar product I believe so I might be getting similar results.
 

tyguy7760

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I would say that you are cycled and ready to add fish. If you want to be doubly safe I would keep dosing to 2 ppm every day and ensure that your ammonia and nitrites are 0 24 hours later for maybe a couple of more days. Sounds like you are cycled though.

If you feel your nitrates are 40 ppm or less, before you put your fish in I would go ahead and do a 50% water change. Then put your first few fish in. Keep an eye on your levels every day for the first few days. If your ammonia and nitrites are still 0 then you should be free to add a few more fish.

How big is your tank and what is your planned stocking?

Just so you know I did something very similar when I started my tank. I did a fish in cycle and seeded my tank with some "dirty gravel" from the LFS. I put some cherry barbs in as my starter fish. After about 2.5 weeks I still had no sign of BB as my ammonia was slowly rising and nitrites and nitrates were 0. I poured a bottle of TSS+ in after nearly 3 weeks and within 2 days I had 0 ammonia and nitrates (skipped the nitrites part completely). TSS+ can really do wonders for your cycle
 
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Mombo

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I am going to keep dosing until Wednesday and see if the ammonia continues to drop every day all the way down.

I am planning on stocking Cherry and Gold Barbs for the first few months and then ill move into some Cory's and what not once I have the hang of it down. This is my first tank.

What I am most interested in knowing is if the BB with TSS+ is in the water or if its in the filter. If its in the water then doing the water change could take out my bacteria. If its in the filter then I guess it doesn't matter.

I have more TSS+ so I was planning on doing a water change and then dosing ammonia again to see if it continues to drop at the same rate.
 

tyguy7760

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It's not floating in the water or anything like that. It's primarily in your filter as well as on your substrate and decorations/plants. But doing a 100% water change put's a lot of BB at risk. There just really isn't a reason to do a 100% water change unless you have ridiculously high ammonia/nitrites that is more toxic than nitrates, or you have a really bad chemical or something like that that has screwed up your water.

Personally I would do a 50% water change, do another dosing to check your ammonia, and do another 50% water change 24 hours later if you want to be extra extra safe. Personally I think one 50% is enough if your tank is cycled.
 
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Mombo

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I will test the water tomorrow and Wednesday and see if the results are similar. If they are then I will do a 50% water change and add prime. Few hours later ill re dose ammonia again.

Thursday ill check the water and if the results are the same again then I will try and add fish Friday.

If they don't remain the same then I will have to go from there.
 
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Mombo

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Alright. Test today gave me these results

Ammonia - .50 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - Didnt test

I have to go to work before the 24 hour mark so in about 21 hours it took it from about 2.5ppm to .5ppm in ammonia. I don't think it would have made it to 0 in 24 hours but it is making progress.

It is definitely keeping up with the Nitrite load though. I have only tested Nitrite above 0 one time and that was right before TSS+.

I am sure my Nitrates are growing still but I figure I don't need to test though as I am doing a water change tomorrow and ill test them then to make sure I get them low enough.

I gave it a half dose today just so they have some food to munch on before the water change tomorrow. Then I will do a full dose and see if they eat equally or if it goes down after changing the water.
 

tyguy7760

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How long has the TSS been in there now? A lot of people never get 0 ammonia because some tests will always test .25 i've noticed. It's good that the nitrites are being handled well as many times that is the most difficult part of the cycling process as that bacteria is the hardest to grow. I'd say you are very close to being ready if not already ready for fish. But another day or so can't hurt.
 
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Mombo

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I am going to wait until Friday or Saturday and go get them. I want to finish a couple more tests/ideas before I add them. TSS def seems to be effective. It has been in for 5 days. Like I said though. The tank had ammonia in it for a week before I added TSS and the ammonia levels were dropping so the BB had started to grow when I put the TSS in.

I am wondering if growing the bacteria up at the beginning help the TSS establish and flourish so quickly.
 

tyguy7760

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Probably. Like I said a similar thing happened to me. I had been trying to cycle for a few weeks with no luck. Put a bottle of TSS in and was completely cycled 3 days later.

The reason I asked how long it had been in there is typically they suggest not doing a water change for 2 weeks after adding TSS to give the bacteria long enough to take hold before doing a water change. However, it sounds like you are cycled or at least very close. So this may not be an issue.
 
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Mombo

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Ive read that often on forums but those instructions are not anywhere on the bottle of TSS+ or on tetras website as instructions. Ive been wondering where that came from and how true it is.
 

tyguy7760

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I believe this forum had a Q&A with a tetra representative and that is what he/she suggested

That being said I did not follow those instructions either as it was apparent that my tank was cycled 3-4 days after adding the TSS so I did a big water change then and added more fish.
 
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Mombo

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Well Ammonia and Nitrite both dropped to zero over that last day.

I am continuing with my plan. I did a 50% ~ water change today and filled it back up to the top.

Dropped my temp to the temp I plan on having the fish at as well.

I dosed it with Prime as I re filled it. I am going to wait a couple hours now and then dose it with ammonia again.

Tomorrow we shall see how the water change affected the TSS and my cycle.

Friday should be the day for me to get fish finally!
 
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Mombo

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Fish arrive today.

The ammonia levels continued to go down after the water change but they did start to drop at a slower rate then the days before so it did affect it in some way. But they are still going at it so I guess it worked.

I will start testing everything every morning to see how they keep up with the fish.
 

tyguy7760

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That shouldn't be a big deal. As the weeks go by with a constant source of ammonia from the fish your BB colony will grow and take route so that the water changes will have little to no effect on them.

What fish are coming in?
 
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Mombo

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Cherry and Gold Barbs first

Few months I will add the Cory
 

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